Demand Galore for Mixed-Use Office Centers

A recent trend that is having widespread effects on the real estate industry is the increasing desire of young people in the workforce to operate in a “live, work, play” setting, where there is close proximity between where these people reside, where they are employed, and where they go for entertainment and leisure. The effects of this shift in preference is distinctly noticeable in the office market. In a report conducted by NAIOP, 83% of office tenants stated a preference to lease in a mixed-use center conducive to “live, work, play” over leasing space in a single-use office center, which were so common in our suburbs in the past several decades. Our suburbs have both mixed-use and single-use centers available for office tenants, but as of late these mixed-use centers have captured more of the suburban market. The end game is to retain as many youthful employees in the knowledge economy as possible who would much prefer the mixed-use developments.

Not only are these vibrant mixed-use centers capturing market share in the office industry; the major Central Business Districts (CBDs) have made quite the comeback. CBDs provide the high-density and walkability that young employees enjoy about the suburban mixed-use centers. It is still unclear whether downtown office space is preferred to suburban office space in the aggregate, but there is a trend that seems to hold true: cities with strong CBDs are preferred by office tenants, but in areas where the CBD is not as strong office tenants prefer the vibrant suburban centers. At the end of the day, employees much prefer walkable, mixed-use centers to single-use office space and therefore so do the office tenants. It remains to be seen what the future implications for development will be as a result of these findings, but for now the current mixed-use areas will continue to dominate over single-use properties in the office market.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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